POLICE have charged 13 men with drug dealing offences after a series of dawn raids in Warrington yesterday morning.

Cheshire Police executed search warrants at 11 properties across the town at around 5.30am on Tuesday.

Fifteen men and a woman were arrested, with 13 men having now been charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

They are:

  • Jamie Oldroyd, 28, of HMP Altcourse
  • Taulant Paja, 22, of Gladstone Street in Bewsey
  • Lewis Johnson, 20, of Elizabeth Drive in Padgate
  • Moses Webber, 20, of Moorside in Latchford
  • Terille Riley, 20, of Heather Close in Birchwood
  • Adam Toddhunter, 29, of Teal Grove in Birchwood
  • William Wright, 25, of Deanwater Close in Birchwood
  • Kyle Kelly, 19, of Solway Close in Cinnamon Brow
  • Joel Reading, 19, of Rockingham Close in Gorse Covert
  • Elliot Auton, 21, of Rockingham Close in Gorse Covert
  • Jordan Redfern, 21, of Montgomery Close in Chapelford
  • Paul Ferraiolo, 41, of Widnes
  • Dean English, 23, of Carlisle

WARNING - THIS VIDEO CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE: The moment police raided a house on Fox Bank Close in Widnes as part of this morning's operation

Wright, Kelly, Reading, Auton and Redfern have been released on bail, with the other eight remanded in custody.

All are due to appear at Chester Magistrates today, Wednesday.

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Meanwhile, a 19-year-old man arrested during the raids on suspicion of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and possession of cocaine with intent to supply has been released under investigation.

A man and woman who were arrested in Scunthorpe on suspicion of conspiracy to supply class A drugs have also been released under investigation.

Officers raided properties on:

  • Knutsford Road
  • Elizabeth Drive, Padgate
  • Gladstone Street, Bewsey
  • Montgomery Close, Chapelford
  • Redshank Lane, Birchwood
  • Heather Close, Birchwood
  • Solway Close, Cinnamon Brow
  • Two houses on Rockingham Close, Gorse Covert
  • Moorside, Latchford
  • Deanwater Close, Birchwood

Raids were also carried out in Widnes, Carlisle and Scunthorpe as parts of efforts to tackle a ‘serious and organised’ crime gang.

The men are allegedly part of a cocaine dealing ring operating in the Warrington area, with more than £140,000 worth of class A drugs found in the properties.

Officers also seized £20,000 in cash in Cumbria, and five vehicles and a motorbike in Widnes and Warrington.

Aaron Duggan, head of crime at Cheshire Police, said: “This is part of an ongoing investigation that we’ve had running for some time now in Cheshire, linked to serious and organised crime.

“We’ve conducted a number of arrests across Warrington, Widnes and Cumbria and we will also be producing somebody from prison who will be assisting us with our enquiries.

“This investigation is on the back of ongoing work into disrupting those who are involved in serious and organised crime in Cheshire and beyond the border.

“It’s something that we’re really passionate about, and ultimately it’s about keeping vulnerable people safe.

“I hope that today’s activity sends a really strong message to those that are involved in serious and organised crime, that Cheshire Police will take positive action if they’re involved in that type of criminality.”

More than 140 police officers were involved in the raids, codenamed Operation Rider.

Warrington Guardian:

Aaron Duggan

Detective chief superintendent Duggan said: “This organised crime group are well known to their local communities, certainly in Warrington.

“They have a reputation, and that reputation is predominantly because of fear – they put people in fear whilst they’re committing crime.

“We acknowledge that it is terribly difficult for the local community to be brave, to come forward and talk to the police but we can’t do it without their help.

“I hope that these arrests go some way to reassuring the community that we will take positive action.”

Warrington Guardian:

Drugs seized as part of the operation

Supt Duggan added: “It’s unfortunate that with this offending and this type of crime, those involved with serious and organised crime will exploit vulnerable people in order to make money.

“That’s exactly what they do it for, it’s all about money, and in doing so they exploit vulnerable people.

“People are frightened of these individuals, and there’s also a cycle of being trapped through debt or their lifestyles – whether they’re drug addicts or in a chaotic family setting.

“It’s very tragic when you look at some of the lives of people who’ve been involved.

“It’s difficult to say how much money this group are making, but serious and organised crime in this country is a threat to the UK’s economy – that’s how much money is in serious and organised crime.

“People commit this type of crime to make money, and there will be considerable money in it.”